Tuesday, April 24, 2018

MY Posted Comment To WSJ Opinion, "English Literature Isn’t Brain Surgery: Why is American medicine so expensive?" And An Addendum

My posted comment to The Wall Street Journal, Opinion, "English Literature Isn’t Brain Surgery: Why is American medicine so expensive? One reason is that doctors are forced to get bachelor’s degrees" by Chris Pope and Tim Rice and an addendum following the comment:
The article has cause and effect reversed. Medicine is a typical mature oligopoly, which over time has created legal, regulatory and capital investment barriers to the entry of competitors. Without competition, medicine's productivity improvements have historically lagged behind US productivity improvements allowing the cost of healthcare to grow faster than the inflation rate and allowing it to become too expensive. Instead of allowing competition and the marketplace to function, in the early 1900s, the AMA raised education standards that closed or merged half the medical schools in the US and it published a list of approved hospitals for residency training. By restricting entry, the AMA limited the supply of physicians, which continues to today with the help of antiquated state licensing laws for doctors, hospitals and other classes of medical providers. High education requirements are an anti-competitive effect of a cartel to justify higher physician earnings.

Addendum not in the published WSJ comment.


The closing of many medical schools in the early 1900s resulted in discrimination in admission to women and blacks. 5 of the 7 black medical colleges in the US were closed and blacks were denied admission to the non-black medical colleges. Women who were benefiting from the mid 19th-century expansion in women's education were becoming physicians. The early 20th century closing of medical schools shrunk the total number of acceptances to medical schools and the schools denied admission to females and accepted only males. In 1950, in the US, there were fewer female doctors than there were in 1900.




1 comment :

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